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3551  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / President's I saw on: March 08, 2011, 01:28:09 PM
Yes this is shocking.

I am certainly no Obama fan but it is still a thrill to have a President come to one's graduation.

I saw Clinton once in West Palm Beach.  As a Republican I felt out of place, but there is still a thrill - even for him.

I saw Reagan twice, once on the WH lawn and once in my home town across from my former High School in NJ.  The Democratic mayor praised Reagan for bringing back a sense of pride to America.  Reagan was so impressed a Dem would cross party lines to compliment him he took time to come to the city of Elizabeth to speak. 

I saw GHW Bush play tennis with Chris Evert in Boca Raton in the early ninetees.  He was pretty damn good.
3552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Michelle Malkin's missing relative on: March 08, 2011, 01:18:51 PM
3553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: March 08, 2011, 11:03:31 AM
"The "crime" in this instance is insider trading.  An insidious crime that
people think is harmless, yet it's path of damage can harm hundreds of thousands of people."


Not to mention the outright fraud and scams. 

"Frankly, in my opinion "white collar crime" is not nearly punished as severely as it should be; it is difficult to prove
and perpetrators are protected by an army of high priced attorneys, it seems unstoppable."

3554  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: March 08, 2011, 09:44:58 AM
Crime does pay.  Particularly white collar crime.

That is why I don't understand why we have law enforcement retiring at 50 when we have stealing and thievery rampant in our society.  This society does not take theft seriously.  The law enforcement officers could be retrained to go after some of this stuff.

"Not a single Wall Street executive has gone to jail over the excesses that led to the collapse"

Nor did any politician pay in away way for their complicity from the SEC to Barney Frank etc.

"Prosecutors are coming to the conclusion that it's difficult, maybe impossible, to put people in jail for greed and irrational exuberanc"

Sure with the same millions stolen they can now hire million dollars liars for hire (to quote The Guardian Angels guy) to make near impossible for any prosecuters to get anywhere.   The rest of us can't hire attorneys for hundreds of dollars an hour.  Talk about health care making people broke.

Only the millions of people out of work are suffering.   It does make one question the concept of trickle down economics, the wealth gap which gets wider. I continue to have a problem with that.  Yet, when all taken into context,
to me the less intrusive government theory is the least of the two evils.  More regulation makes things worse and does little good.  Indeed government cannot even enforce what they have on the books.

3555  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Science on: March 07, 2011, 05:22:12 PM
Here is a picture of the reported bacteria:
3556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing Crisis Explained and Questions Answered on: March 07, 2011, 04:08:56 PM
Thanks for the interesting answer.

Bernie Madoff called the US government a Ponzi scheme.

Perhaps he is correct and indeed the entire financial system in the US (or Western World) can be looked at in this way?

Is this naive or not far from the truth?
3557  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: March 07, 2011, 12:44:39 PM
"Believe it or not, homeowners and their attorneys do lie"

An analogous situation are patients who go to doctors feighting chronic pain to get narcotic Rx.

It is rampant.  And of course there are doctors who sell their souls to get the cash payments which is usually how the encounter works.  I know because I, like all doctors have patient coming in with multiple scams.  The stories are endless but there are consistent patterns much of the time.

The doctors write their notes, as though everything is hunky dorry and the patient shows them an old injury or gives them the compliants, pays in cash and then goes fills the script and gets high or sells the stuff.

The doctors pretend they don't have a clue and they were just "helping" a pain patient.
They play niave or just say, "how was I supposed to know".  "I take the patient at his/her word and it is not be job or place to judge them or deny them pain medicine and chance they may be legitimate and be suffering".

And some doctors are niave.  Patients will play into their good natures by complimenting them.   But those in practice for some time learn the ropes. 

There is no questions doctors, myself included, who do get fooled, and it is sometimes very difficult and even impossible to know if the patient is lying or not without following the patient around after they leave the office.  But there are doctors who will play "the game" and pretent it is all legit just to get the cash.  They can get 100s of patients, cash paying, to their office, in weeks or months, some from out of state, if they want.  It is rampant.  It has been for decades.  Probably worse now.

They know it is very hard to do anything about it and they feel as long as they document there "well meaning" intentions they can't be proved to be crooks and drug dealers.  And most of the time they are right.
3558  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing Crisis Explained and Questions Answered on: March 07, 2011, 12:15:52 PM
Thanks for the great insight.

One question.

What do you think of the banking bail out?

How has this affected the housing situation and do you think it was the least of the evils and necessary?

I really am all confused about it and don't know what to think or who to believe.
3559  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Saudi Arabia on: March 07, 2011, 10:30:31 AM
"where most of Saudi Arabia's Shia Muslims live"

10% of Saudi Arabia is Shia.  It seems that whereever the Shia are they are proxies for Iran.

In a population of every 27 million that means 2.7 mill are Shia.  They can easily muster thousands to walk the streets.  Yet they are really a small minority.
20K is nothing.

3560  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: March 07, 2011, 10:03:10 AM
Marc Levin forshadowed Bachman on Meet the Press this weekend.
Marc Levin predicted that on Meet the (Liberal) Press Michelle Bachman would would get attacked for something.  He thought she would be question endlessly, like Boehner to criticize the "birthers".  Instead Liberal Democrat David Gregory kept shoving her "gangster" description of the way Obama leads in her face.  Over and over again he made it a point demanding she retract it.  HOw can she be compromising if she speaks like this?  He asks. 

My points,

I didn't hear him calling and demanding for *compromise* when the Dems controlled government.
I didn't hear him demand an apology from the One for comments like, "we reward our friends and punish our enemies".
Instead of harping on one comment why doesn't he just let her give her opinions and stance?
Just the fact this is discussed in the following piece is exactly what the liberal media was after.  Get her to say somethng that could be taken out of context  or not to apologize and make THAT the issue to distract from her real points.  The MSM does this to every conservative.

Bachmann Stands by ‘Gangster Government’ Description
By Melanie Starkey
Roll Call Staff
March 6, 2011, 1:39 p.m.

   Text size
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) refused Sunday to retreat from her characterization of the Obama administration as a "gangster government."

The House Tea Party Caucus founder said, "I don't take back my statement on gangster government," a phrase she used at a tea party gathering in April. "I think that there have been actions that have been taken by this government that I think are corrupt," she said during her appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."

She hammered at the administration Sunday for $105 billion included in last year's health care overhaul law for its implementation, regardless of the questions put to her. Bachmann called on the White House last week to apologize for the funding, which the Congressional Research Service reported in October.

The money was "hidden in various parts of the bill," she said Sunday. "Members of Congress didn't even know this money was in the bill, because we couldn't read the bill before it was passed, because it wasn't given to us but hours before we had to vote for it," she said.

Bachmann said she hasn't "made a decision either way about plans for" entering the 2012 presidential election.

"We can do so much better, she said. "And that's what I'm talking about with people in the next few months. We need to think very strongly. A second administration of Jimmy Carter wouldn't have done this country any favors. We need to make sure we don't have a second Barack Obama administration."

When asked if she had a timeline for making a decision about running, she responded, "I think there's a normal course of events when a decision like that will be made. And if I choose to go down that road, I'll make the decision."

3561  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Decline and Fall of America? on: March 05, 2011, 12:45:47 PM
It is sad to watch the MSM go after Huckabee though.  Calling for him to apologize etc. instead of taking heed of his point(s).  Yet, perhaps this will backfire on them rather than on Huckabee.  You have a good point suggesting this IS the kind of thing we need to get taxpayers to wake up.  Why should the state be paying till we are broke for other people's babies?
These mothers need to be held accountable. 
3562  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire-1 on: March 05, 2011, 09:44:46 AM
We are also in a cultural decline thanks to the progressives.  Huckabee's comments about the single pregnant movie star were very reasonable.  But of course low and behold the MSM goes wild making sure he looks insensitive.  It is absolutely no problem women having babies out of wedlock is rampant.  It is no problem that rich gays can adopt - remember (I think Crafty's post - no longer should we use mother and father - it should be "parents").

Let's not forget that the second largest demographic as a percentage of their overall group supporting the Democrats behind Blacks are SINGLE mothers.  They want big government to be their sugar daddies.  Most of these low wage or totally unskilled mothers.  Who is going to pay for the health care.  Who is going to pay for the food the clothes the rent?

To them it should be the "rich", it should be businesses, corporations.  Huckabee is totally right but of course, his point is ignored and he is made into some sort of angry, wrong headed, insensitive religious zeolot.  I don't know if it is too late or not for America.  The liberals have evolved into such a powerful force in the media, academia, and bribing too many voters, and in politics.  I just don't know.
3563  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: March 04, 2011, 02:44:50 PM
W's policy of spreading Democracy is somehow not complimented by the Soros.  I agree with Charles in previous post that Saddam was far worse than Ghaddafi:

***Billionaire George Soros told Fareed Zakaria that if President Bush and Dick Cheney were in charge now, the Egyptian revolution would have been much more violent. But instead, Obama has been successful because he sees the revolution in terms of people asserting their right to freedom and continues to refuse to “instigate” the coming regime change.***

All of a sudden all of the libs (and McCain) are calling for the US to jump into Libya???
They can't seem to get their heads on straight.

3564  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / W the great visionary of our age?? on: March 04, 2011, 02:40:55 PM
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, March 4, 2011

Voices around the world, from Europe to America to Libya, are calling for U.S. intervention to help bring down Moammar Gaddafi. Yet for bringing down Saddam Hussein, the United States has been denounced variously for aggression, deception, arrogance and imperialism.

From Baghdad to Benghazi
Iran might not be the big winner of Mideast uprisings
A strange moral inversion, considering that Hussein's evil was an order of magnitude beyond Gaddafi's. Gaddafi is a capricious killer; Hussein was systematic. Gaddafi was too unstable and crazy to begin to match the Baathist apparatus: a comprehensive national system of terror, torture and mass murder, gassing entire villages to create what author Kanan Makiya called a "Republic of Fear."

Moreover, that systemized brutality made Hussein immovable in a way that Gaddafi is not. Barely armed Libyans have already seized half the country on their own. Yet in Iraq, there was no chance of putting an end to the regime without the terrible swift sword (it took all of three weeks) of the United States.

No matter the hypocritical double standard. Now that revolutions are sweeping the Middle East and everyone is a convert to George W. Bush's freedom agenda, it's not just Iraq that has slid into the memory hole. Also forgotten is the once proudly proclaimed "realism" of Years One and Two of President Obama's foreign policy - the "smart power" antidote to Bush's alleged misty-eyed idealism.

It began on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's first Asia trip, when she publicly played down human rights concerns in China. The administration also cut aid for democracy promotion in Egypt by 50 percent. And cut civil society funds - money for precisely the organizations we now need to help Egyptian democracy - by 70 percent.

This new realism reached its apogee with Obama's reticence and tardiness in saying anything in support of the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran. On the contrary, Obama made clear that nuclear negotiations with the discredited and murderous regime (talks that a child could see would go nowhere) took precedence over the democratic revolutionaries in the street - to the point where demonstrators in Tehran chanted, "Obama, Obama, you are either with us or with them."

Now that revolution has spread from Tunisia to Oman, however, the administration is rushing to keep up with the new dispensation, repeating the fundamental tenet of the Bush Doctrine that Arabs are no exception to the universal thirst for dignity and freedom.

Iraq, of course, required a sustained U.S. military engagement to push back totalitarian forces trying to extinguish the new Iraq. But is this not what we are being asked to do with a no-fly zone over Libya? In conditions of active civil war, taking command of Libyan airspace requires a sustained military engagement.

Now, it can be argued that the price in blood and treasure that America paid to establish Iraq's democracy was too high. But whatever side you take on that question, what's unmistakable is that to the Middle Easterner, Iraq today is the only functioning Arab democracy, with multiparty elections and the freest press. Its democracy is fragile and imperfect - last week, security forces cracked down on demonstrators demanding better services - but were Egypt to be as politically developed in, say, a year as is Iraq today, we would think it a great success.

For Libyans, the effect of the Iraq war is even more concrete. However much bloodshed they face, they have been spared the threat of genocide. Gaddafi was so terrified by what we did to Saddam & Sons that he plea-bargained away his weapons of mass destruction. For a rebel in Benghazi, that is no small matter.

Yet we have been told incessantly how Iraq poisoned the Arab mind against America. Really? Where is the rampant anti-Americanism in any of these revolutions? In fact, notes Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes, the United States has been "conspicuously absent from the sloganeering."

It's Yemen's president and the delusional Gaddafi who are railing against American conspiracies to rule and enslave. The demonstrators in the streets of Egypt, Iran and Libya have been straining their eyes for America to help. They are not chanting the antiwar slogans - remember "No blood for oil"? - of the American left. Why would they? America is leaving Iraq having taken no oil, having established no permanent bases, having left behind not a puppet regime but a functioning democracy. This, after Iraq's purple-fingered exercises in free elections seen on television everywhere set an example for the entire region.

Facebook and Twitter have surely mediated this pan-Arab (and Iranian) reach for dignity and freedom. But the Bush Doctrine set the premise.

3565  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: March 04, 2011, 01:21:59 PM
"In both films, as in real life, the problem is the unions themselves, not individual teachers. They present teachers who are heroic, who are creative and idealistic. But they too, in the films, are victims of union rules."

Bullshit.  The problem is as it always is - greed.  Almost all teachers in NJ ***love*** the unions.   It is not just the unions it is the idea that union members want to get as much out of the system for as long as they can.  This is human nature.

In my opinion this new strategy of Republicans saying its the unions and not the union members - sorry - that is total crap.  It is the culture of both at least here in NJ.

The vast majority of teachers in NJ are Democrats, feel the rich should pay up, and Christie is the devil incarnate.  They feel entitled and have been getting pay raises, good insurance and pension benefits for decades.  Compared to the 70's I believe they are better off.

I want them to do well.  But the money is not there and I refuse to pay more.  Enough is enough.
3566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 04, 2011, 12:23:31 PM
"The question for conservatives I think goes something like this, who among these top 10 or 15 possible candidates is consistently principled conservative to their core with unquestionable integrity that you could visualize right now as President best articulating American principles directly to the American people on the whole realm of economic, budget and security issues we face."

One gigantic difference between liberals and conservatives is a conservative could win by being honest about who they are, what they believe in, and how to keep this country great.  Unlike radical liberals who have to pretend they are for America and its historic principals yet in reality are for one world government, the UN as leadership role, world Leninism, a single "class" for everyone, etc.  We know Obama believes this and strives for this but he cannot say this or he would never have been President.  He pretends he is for America he pretends he is to keep her great he tries to copy Reagan etc but we all know how radical he really is. 

This false and decpetive pretense and facade more than anything else he can and should be beaten and driven out of office head first in '12.   We need a candidate who can and will call him out for this.  Not let him and his MSM cohorts bluff us like they do.  Newt is one who could do that.  Mitt cannot not.  I am not saying Newt is otherwise a good candidate but the only one clearly who could take Bamster on in a debate and show what a fraud he is and not let him lie us to death with deception.  But Newt does need a softer side that can appeal to moderates in some way.  He doesn't have that.

I don't know yet about Pawlenty, Daniels, or any other.  West has the right mouth piece but as Crafty pointed out his resume is too thin at this point.
3567  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 03, 2011, 02:50:37 PM
Yes. Great point. 

I think he would fold.  Actually I meant I do *not* think he could beat Obama in a debate.  He might on some logical points but not on the emotional issues like race baiting and class warefare.

We really need to get a candidate that can debate on those points.

I am not sure what you mean about Mitt?
3568  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 03, 2011, 01:50:19 PM
"Morris said Newt because he would eat Obama up in the debates"


I just think Mitt could beat Obama in a debate.  I could see him coming out slight ahead on the content but he would get wiped out on style and that to me is the problem at this point.

3569  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / For those losing sleep wondering what happened to... on: March 02, 2011, 01:37:06 PM
Monica Lewinsky Made a Stealth Appearance Last Thursday Night
 03/02/11 12:51am Roger Friedman 0 
Monica Lewinsky–yes, Monica Lewinsky– I saw her last Thursday night in Beverly Hills. She attended the Ed Ruscha art premiere with her brother. And I talked to Monica, and forgot about it entirely until I saw that Terry Richardson somehow got someone that night to take a picture of him with her. It’s on his blog, and I hope it’s okay that I’ve moved it over here. Monica was great, very perky, looking un-aged from her celebrity moment a dozen years ago.  I asked her if she was still making handbags. She said no. She also said she was living out in LA. She was very gracious. It was not appropriate to ask about anything else. So well, well, not much of a story. She was excited to check out all of Ruscha’s work, and that was that. Fame is fleeting. A couple of said, “Isn’t that what’s her name?” And no, she didn’t go to any Oscar parties.

3570  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Yes this is about power not jobs not workers rights on: March 02, 2011, 12:39:00 PM
Rachel fled the board so I will post a Buchanan piece.  I admit he probably is a bit of an anti-semite but his articles are far more in the real world than her philisophical postings which are nice for college students to fantasize about but have no place in the real world IMO:

****CommentsWhy Scott Walker Must Win
by Patrick J. Buchanan


The anti-democratic methods President Obama's union allies are using in Wisconsin testify to the crucial character of the battle being fought.
Teachers have walked off in wildcat strikes, taking pupils with them. Doctors have issued lying affidavits saying the teachers were sick, a good example of ethical conduct for the school kids.
Thousands of demonstrators have daily invaded the Capitol, chanting, hooting, banging drums. Hundreds have camped out there and refused to leave so the Capitol building can be cleaned.

Is this democracy in action? Is this what 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green went out to see that Saturday morning in Tucson?
Picketers have carried placards with the face of Gov. Scott Walker in the cross hairs of a gun sight. He has been compared to Hitler, Mussolini, Mubarak. Democrats have fled the state to deny the elected Wisconsin Senate a quorum to vote.
Such tactics cannot be allowed to triumph in a republic.
Why is the left behaving with desperation? Because it senses what this battle is all about. Not just about pay, but about power.
The Republicans are not only resolved to guarantee government workers pay a fair share of the cost of their pensions and health care. They are in a purposeful drive to disarm and demobilize the tax-subsidized armies of the Democratic Party and end sweetheart deals between unions and the poodle politicians they put into office.
"Walker wants to end collective bargaining," is the wail.
Actually, what the governor wants to end is the scandalous practice of powerful unions raising millions and running phone banks and get-out-the-vote operations for politicians who thank them with wages, benefits and job security no private employer can match.
Since the 1960s, government unions have been able to sit behind closed doors with the politicians they put in office and write contracts, the cost of which is borne by taxpayers who have no one at the table.
They call this collective bargaining. A more accurate term is collusive bargaining. And Walker means put an end to the racket.
When Ford sits down with the UAW, Ford negotiators represent the executives, directors and shareholders. Should they give away the store and Ford have to raise prices, and be undercut by Honda, all Ford workers, shareholders and executives suffer.
This is a healthy adversary procedure where Ford and the UAW each represents the interests of those who sent them, and both share a stake in keeping Ford prosperous.
When government unions sit down with the politicians they put into office, the relationship is not adversarial. It is not healthy. It is incestuous. And taxpayers must pay the cost of their cohabitation.
Gov. Walker also seeks to end the practice of having the state government collect union dues from state workers.
Indeed, why should a Republican administration collect dues for the benefit of union bosses who constantly labor to see to it those Republicans are not re-elected? Let the unions collect their own dues.
Walker would also require public service employee unions to hold annual elections by secret ballot to determine if state workers want the union to represent them, or if they would prefer to have their deducted union dues put back in their paychecks.
Legislators submit to voters every two years.
Why ought not unions to do the same?
In Wisconsin, the die is cast and Walker cannot yield.
For if he yields, the state and its 3,000 cities, counties, towns and school districts will be forever at the mercy of these unions.
If he yields, it will be a triumph for the tactics of intimidation, wildcat strikes and mass demonstrations to block legislative action.
The senators who fled will come home heroes, and Walker will have broken the hearts of the people who put their faith in him.
If Walker yields, governors and legislators across America will read the tea leaves and back away from taking on government unions. That means higher and higher taxes, as in Illinois, and eventual sinking of the states into unpayable debt and default.
The correlation of forces is in Walker's favor. Time is on his side. When you are holding a winning hand, you do not offer to split the pot.
After his opponents invaded the Capitol, called him Hitler, fled the state, and tried to shout down and shut down the legislature with raucous demonstrations, what other cards do they have left to play?
Walker has recalled Ronald Reagan's firing of the air traffic controllers as an example of how a strong leader must stand up even to a popular union when it is wrong.
There is an earlier example. When the Boston police went on strike and criminals ran amuck, and Sam Gompers came to the defense of the cops, Gov. Calvin Coolidge sent a telegram to that founding father of the American labor movement, "There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time."
Scott Walker cannot lose this fight, because his country cannot afford to have him lose it.****

3571  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: March 02, 2011, 12:15:48 PM
On O'Reilly yesterday  Stossel went out onto the streets of NYC and asked pedestians what they thought of what is going on in Wisconsin.  He estimated roughly half the people had no clue about it.  Yet when we hear polls telling us a majority are for the collective bargaining "rights" it is clear most people don't really understand all the implications.  I doubt very much most people would support government union collective bargaining if they understood how it really affects them or this country as a whole and how corrupt it really is. 

O'Reilly has really changed his strategy in his overall presentation.  It is obvious he has plays his guests as straw men while he pretends to be the reasonable middle of the road one.  By doing so he can attract Bamster and others to appear on his show and boost his own ratings.

I think many viewers have caught on to his ruse.  But that is another story.

****John Stossel takes to the streets
Fox Business anchor John Stossel set out to determine how much ordinary citizens know about the political battle in Wisconsin. "I would say half the people were clueless," Stossel reported, "but it's not that complicated - all you have to do is watch a few news shows and read a bit." Given the public's lack of knowledge, Stossel took issue with how recent polls are worded. "The polls game the language, and even you use the term 'collective bargaining rights. Who's to say it's a right? Let's call it collective bargaining power." The Factor contended that most Americans inherently sympathize with unionized workers: "There is a lot of suspicion that government is corrupt, Wall Street fat cats are corrupt, but workers just want enough to feed their families and send their kids to college."**** 
3572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Last doughboy gone on: February 28, 2011, 11:47:37 AM
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Frank Buckles, Last World War I Doughboy, Is Dead at 110

Published: February 28, 2011
Frank Buckles, who drove an Army ambulance in France in 1918 and came to symbolize a generation of embattled young Americans as the last of the World War I doughboys, died Sunday at his home in Charles Town, W. Va. He was 110.

His death was announced by a family spokesman, David DeJonge, The Associated Press said.

He was only a corporal and he never got closer than 30 or so miles from the Western Front trenches, but Mr. Buckles became something of a national treasure as the last living link to the two million men who served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France in “the war to end all wars.”

Frail, stooped and hard of hearing, but sharp of mind, Mr. Buckles was named grand marshal of the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington in 2007. He was a guest at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day 2007 for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. He was honored by Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Pentagon and met with President George W. Bush at the White House in March 2008.

United States Senators played host to him at the Capitol in June 2008 for the impending 90th anniversary of the World War I armistice. And he appeared before a Senate subcommittee in December 2009 to support legislation named in his honor to bestow federal status on a World War I memorial on the National Mall built in the 1930s.

Sought out for interviews in his final years, Mr. Buckles told of having witnessed a ceremony involving British veterans of the Crimean War, fought in the 1850s, when he was stationed in England before heading to France. He remembered chatting with General John J. Pershing, the commander of American troops in World War I, at an event in Oklahoma City soon after the war’s end.

And he proudly held a sepia-toned photograph of himself in his doughboy uniform when he was interviewed by USA Today in 2007. “I was a snappy soldier,” he said. “All gung-ho.”

Frank Woodruff Buckles was born Feb. 1, 1901, on a farm near Bethany, Mo. He was living in Oakwood, Okla., when America entered World War I and he tried to enlist in the Marine Corps at age 16, having been inspired by recruiting posters.

The Marines turned him down as underage and under the required weight. The Navy didn’t want him either, saying he had flat feet. But the Army took him in August 1917 when he lied about his age, and he volunteered to be an ambulance driver, hearing that was the quickest path to service in France.

He sailed for England in December 1917 on the Carpathia, the ship that helped save survivors of the Titanic’s sinking in 1912. He later served in various locations in France, including Bordeaux, and drove military autos and ambulances. He was touched by the war’s impact on the French people.

“The little French children were hungry,” Mr. Buckles recalled in a 2001 interview for the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress. “We’d feed the children. To me, that was a pretty sad sight.”

Mr. Buckles escorted German prisoners of war back to their homeland after the armistice, then returned to America and later worked in the Toronto office of the White Star shipping line.

He traveled widely over the years, working for steamship companies, and he was on business in Manila when the Japanese occupied it following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. He was imprisoned by the Japanese, losing more than 50 pounds, before being liberated by an American airborne unit in February 1945.

After retiring from steamship work in the mid-1950s, Mr. Buckles ran a cattle farm in Charles Town, and he was still riding a tractor there at age 104.

In April 2007, Mr. Buckles was identified by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as one of the four known survivors among the more than 4.7 million Americans who had served in the armed forces of the Allied nations between April 6, 1917, when the United States entered World War I, and the Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918.

Two of the four — J. Russell Coffey and Harry Landis — had served stateside in the American Army. Mr. Coffey died in December 2007 at 109 and Mr. Landis died in February 2008 at 108. John Babcock, who was Canadian born, served in Canada’s army in Britain in World War I and held dual American and Canadian citizenship, died in Spokane, Wash., in February 2010 at 109.

The last known veterans of the French and German armies in World War I, Lazare Ponticelli and Erich Kästner, died a few months apart in 2008; Harry Patch, the last British soldier, died in 2009. A former nurse and a former sailor, both English, are thought to be the only two people still living who served in any capacity in the war.

Mr. Buckles is survived by his daughter, Susannah Flanagan. His wife, Audrey, died in 1999.

More than eight decades after World War I ended, Mr. Buckles retained images of his French comrades. And he thought back to the fate that awaited them.

“What I have a vivid memory of is the French soldiers — being in a small village and going in to a local wine shop in the evening,” he told a Library of Congress interviewer. “They had very, very little money. But they were having wine and singing the ‘Marseillaise’ with enthusiasm. And I inquired, ‘What is the occasion?’ They were going back to the front. Can you imagine that?”
3573  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: February 27, 2011, 05:15:47 PM
I hope he runs.  At least give a go.

If he doesn't do well at least he will have tried.  We'll never know otherwise and always question not doing so.

Go for it Newt!
3574  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / JDN: Good point! on: February 27, 2011, 05:12:18 PM
"Yet Obama was criticized for "standing up for democracy" in Egypt.  If we follow this new Republican suggestion, maybe we should "stand up for democracy" and oust
the dictatorships in in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Tunisia, Bahrain, Kuwait, et al and return their government to the "people". "

JDN, I agree with your point 100%  grin  grin  grin

Both parties Dems and Cans are schizophrenic with regards to which way to go - support "Democracy" or not depending on the political advantage at the time.

I hear some Republicans criticizing Bamster no matter what he does and I don't hear many if any Dems giving W high grades for promoting "freedom" around the Middle East.   The make love not war anit American 60's libs who control the Democratic party today should be holding W up as some sort of Saint if you listen to them.  But then, how could they blame him for everything, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

The whole political aspect to this thing is a big joke.  And the joke is on the US.

3575  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Jonah Goldberg on Obama reversal on: February 25, 2011, 12:38:44 PM
"President Obama says DOMA is unconstitutional, and yet the “law professor” says he will continue to enforce it. In a properly ordered constitutional republic, this would be a scandal. But in America today, it’s cause for eye-rolling, shrugs, and platitudes about the demands of politics."

I think it is likely a political move.  He needs the gay hordes led by MSNBC as his poll numbers are falling again.  I think he is holding back on support for gay marriage for the political opportune time not for their benefit but for his.   Just IMHO.

***Jonah Goldberg

February 25, 2011 12:00 A.M.

Throwing in the Towel on the Constitution
Obama violates his oath of office

Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution requires that each new president take the following oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

President Obama announced this week that he will violate that oath.
In a decision hailed by gay-rights activists, the White House announced that it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on the grounds that it has suddenly dawned on the president and attorney general that the law is unconstitutional.

DOMA, signed into law by President Clinton, bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. Obama has always opposed the law, but as president his administration has enforced it and defended it in court. Although it should be noted that Obama’s Justice Department has not defended DOMA vigorously, as Justice Department guidelines require.

As Ed Whelan, a legal scholar and president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, has detailed at some length, the DOJ has been, in effect, tanking the fight in court for the last two years by tailoring its arguments in ways beneficial to gay-marriage activists. Now Obama’s lawyers are simply taking a dive by flatly declaring the unconstitutionality of the law.

Obama, who fancies himself a scholar of the Constitution, never said a peep about the law being unconstitutional until this week.

Why the public change of heart?

There’s good reason to believe that Obama has always been lying — yes, lying — about opposing gay marriage. For example, in 1996, he told the Windy City Times, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” But by 2004, Obama very much wanted to be president, and he understood that supporting gay marriage would be a political liability. So he opted for something other than honesty. And in a 2004 interview with a gay publication, Obama strongly hinted his opposition was strategic, not philosophical.

“Everything we know and admire about President Obama makes the claim that he doesn’t support the freedom to marry very unconvincing,” Evan Wolfson, the director of the gay-rights group Freedom to Marry, told the Huffington Post last August.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney insists that the president still opposes same-sex marriage. But Carney was quick to note that the president has said his views on the matter are “evolving.” Translation: He could completely change his mind at any moment.

And you know what? That’s fine. Lots of people change their minds about issues like these. Support for gay marriage and gay rights generally has been on the rise for years. My own views have been evolving as well.

But that is all irrelevant. The politics are irrelevant too. I don’t know if this is a politically smart move on Obama’s part or a dumb one, though I have my theories.

Either way, what Obama is doing is flatly outrageous. Carney says that “the president is constitutionally bound to enforce the laws and enforcement of the DOMA will continue.”

No, he is not.

There’s a myth out there that only the Supreme Court determines what is, or is not, constitutional. It’s a bipartisan myth. “We can’t have presidents deciding what laws are constitutional and what laws are not,” Sen. Scott Brown (R., Mass.) said in a statement. “That is a function of the judicial branch, not the executive.”

President Bush made a similar, indefensible error when he signed the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance bill, even though he believed portions of it were unconstitutional (and he was right; the Supreme Court overturned it in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission last year).

The problem is that the Constitution doesn’t say any such thing (and, no, it’s not in Marbury v. Madison either). The president doesn’t take an oath to “preserve, protect and defend” the Supreme Court. He takes an oath to defend the Constitution.

Imagine if Congress passed — hopefully over a presidential veto — a law that brought back slavery. Such a law would be plainly unconstitutional, and no president worthy of the job would wait for the Supreme Court to tell him as much. More to the point, once the president concluded that the law was unconstitutional, he would be bound by his oath to ignore it, and challenge it in every way possible.

President Obama says DOMA is unconstitutional, and yet the “law professor” says he will continue to enforce it.

In a properly ordered constitutional republic, this would be a scandal. But in America today, it’s cause for eye-rolling, shrugs, and platitudes about the demands of politics.

—Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. © 2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.***

3576  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: February 25, 2011, 11:43:03 AM
This is exactly why tax codes should not be tinkered with in regards to social engineering.  They should be the same for everyone, flat, no write offs, no loopholes.
How could government employees under assault not be outraged?  This is classic the rich get richer and reap unfair benefits.  Repubs would do well to at least recognize this and say/do something about it.  The silence from them on issues like this is deafening. 

****Tax breaks on real estate deals for people like A-Rod cost city 900M a year
Juan Gonzalez - News

Friday, February 25th 2011, 4:00 AM

Sipkin/NewsA city program gives huge tax abatements to condo owners in newly built housing. A-Rod, for instance, will pay just $100 a month in taxes on his new $6 million bachelor pad. Related NewsLupica: A-Rod out of the spotlight? For Yanks to win, he'd better find itA-Rod: Bombers will survive without LeeLupica: Hamilton shows A-Rod how its doneA-Rod expects to be in top form next seasonA-Rod confronts Grim realityLupica: It's time for Alex to be GreatYankees star Alex Rodriguez will pay virtually no property tax for a $6 million apartment he is buying on the upper West Side.

Rodriguez will be billed around $1,200 this year in real estate tax for his 3,000-square-foot, five-bedroom penthouse with spectacular views of the Hudson River.

Over the next 10 years Rodriguez and his fellow residents will continue to receive huge discounts on their tax, a city housing official said.

For Rodriguez, a full tax bill would be at least $60,000 annually, the latest city assessment records show.

A spokeswoman for Extell, the company that built the 2-year-old luxury Rushmore Towers near the West Side Highway, declined to discuss the taxes on the slugger's new bachelor pad.

But the only two penthouses that went into contract this month at the Rushmore, each of which was listed at more than $6 million, have been assessed at a little over $100 per month in taxes, one real estate expert told the Daily News.

So how is it possible that tens of thousands of ordinary city residents struggle each year with soaring tax bills for their co-ops, condos and homes, while the Yankees' $33-million-a-year star gets to pay next to nothing?

Well, Rodriguez and many other well-heeled New Yorkers have learned to take advantage of a little-known tax abatement program that has existed for decades.

The politicians and real estate insiders call it the "421A" program. It grants as much as a 98% percent tax abatement for up to 25 years to condo owners in newly built housing.

The bulk of the 421A benefit has gone to luxury housing in Manhattan, though a few reforms by City Hall and the Legislature in 2007 at least required developers to build 20% affordable housing to qualify for the tax abatement.

This year alone, the 421A program will cost our city more than $900 million in lost revenues, the Independent Budget Office says.

That's money that could prevent layoffs of firefighters and teachers. That could fund senior citizen centers and pay for after-school programs.

You haven't heard much about this, but the 421A program ended in December for any new construction. But the city's powerful real estate industry is determined to get it renewed and even get it expanded. Its lobbyists are working feverishly behind the scenes to pressure Council and lawmakers in Albany.

Brooklyn City Councilman Brad Lander has been leading the fight against that renewal.

It's too much of a giveaway to developers, Lander says, especially since there's already a glut of luxury housing in this town.

The developers want to link any extension of rent stabilization laws for tenants, which the Legislature must vote on by June, to a deal on extending the 421A tax abatement for builders.

The industry hopes Gov. Cuomo, who made a name for himself a long time ago as an advocate for affordable housing, will take their side.

In so many ways, big and small, the minority who have the big money keep trying to get government to give them more financial breaks at the expense of the rest of us.

"Where's the fair share if people who have paid millions of dollars for an apartment get away with paying no real estate taxes, when people in co-ops are being slaughtered?" said Bayta Lewton, of the Coalition for a Livable West Side.

Even before the pennant race begins, A-Rod has become the poster boy in another race - to end these tax abatements that have run amok.****

3577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Beck apologizes on: February 25, 2011, 10:04:57 AM
Lawrence of MSNBC has been crusading against Beck.  Apparantly Beck said a few things about the reformed rabbies who critcized him.  I am not that familiar with the whole thing.  Rachel who disappeared from this board after her post about Beck and Rabbie complainst and I came back and criticized Soros would probably find this apology inadaquate.  I am not sure what to say specifically on the issue of Beck on this though I stand by my comments on Soros.  As for criticizing Obama on not speaking out enough ON Ghaddafi I think this wrong headed and political.  There are thousands of Americans trapped in Libya and their lives are at stake.  It is not a leap to worry that US over - condemnation could cost them their lives.
3578  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris' poll on Wisconsin on: February 24, 2011, 07:31:38 PM
MSNBC announcers with great glee yesterday citing polls that people of Wisconsin are "breaking" with Governor Walker.  I am a bit surprised (and disappointed) that most people appear to think collective bargaining for government employees is OK.  I don't get it.  They like paying for the largess.  Without limiting this won't taxpayers always have to be at risk of being held up for more money?

By Dick Morris02.24.2011

February 24, 2011

Dick Morris, a veteran pollster with thirty years of experience in national and international polling, is announcing the launch of The Dick Morris Poll, which will focus on timely political issues and candidates. Drawing on his polling expertise, Dick will provide the results and an analysis of each poll.

Dick Morris was President Clinton’s pollster for 20 years, and has done polling for 30 Senators and Governors and 14 presidents or prime ministers in foreign countries.

The Dick Morris Poll, to be published at least once a month, will use the traditional polling method of telephone calls to registered voters. On occasion, internet polls will be done of a carefully drawn random sample of likely voters – in order to avoid the bias of relying only on those participants with a political predisposition.

The initial poll is the first published poll of voters conducted within the state of Wisconsin and was completed on Monday, February 21, 2011 and Tuesday, February 22, 2011.


The Dick Morris Poll conducted a telephone survey among 409 likely Wisconsin voters. The survey has a margin of error of +- 4%.

Findings: Wisconsin voters break almost evenly on Governor Walker’s proposed reforms, supporting them by a margin of 51-47.

They support many aspects of the proposal by significant numbers:


• By 74-18, they back making state employees pay more for their health insurance.
• By 79-16, they support asking state workers contribute more toward their pensions.
• By 54-34, Wisconsin voters support ending the automatic deduction of union dues from state paychecks and support making unions collect dues from each member.
• By 66-30, they back limiting state workers’ pay increases to the rate of inflation unless voters approve a higher raise by a public referendum.


On the issue of limiting collective bargaining to wage and benefit issues, however, they break with the Governor, opposing the proposal by 41-54.

If the issues to be taken off the bargaining table are related to giving schools flexibility to modify tenure, pay teachers based on merit, discharge bad teachers and promote good ones, however, they support such limits on collective bargaining by 58-38.

ANALYSIS: Voters back the principal of collective bargaining. But they are also willing to limit these negotiations so that they would not impede education reforms.

For Governor Walker to prevail, he must focus on his goal of achieving reform in schools. He will not prevail as long as his proposal is essentially negative in nature (i.e. limiting collective bargaining). But if he emphasizes the positive intent that lies behind the proposal (i.e. giving schools the flexibility and freedom to implement education reforms), he will find a solid public majority behind him.

3579  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / King vs. Piers on: February 24, 2011, 07:21:49 PM
I thought Piers is pretty good but I guess his ratings have fallen.  I am surprised Larry King criticized him.  It is interesting that one of King's complaint is Piers "is not dangerous enough".   I kind of thought King was always rather wishy washy himself:

Piers Morgan, Larry King spar over CNN veteran's jibe
 – British journalist Piers Morgan (pictured) sparred verbally with his CNN predecessor Larry King, after … – Thu Feb 24, 3:22 am ET
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – British journalist Piers Morgan sparred verbally with his CNN predecessor Larry King, after the US veteran criticized Morgan's talk show technique.

Morgan, who took over in January after King bowed out following 25 years as host of "Larry King Live," light-heartedly suggested he would have to punch the 77-year-old following his jibes in a BBC interview.

"I have spent the last few months saying following you is like following Sinatra. I couldn't have paid you higher praise. And you go in my back yard and say I'm... oversold, undangerous," said Morgan.

King told BBC radio last week he thought Morgan had been "oversold" when he started at CNN, saying: "He's good, but not that dangerous. I think they might have been better off starting quietly."

Damning with faint praise, King added: "He's certainly not bad. He's certainly an acceptable host. He asks good questions, maybe he interrupts a little too much at times."

Defending himself on Morgan's show, King insisted he didn't think the British host was dangerous.

Morgan replied: "We couldn't come in and undersell me. I'm following a legend. You can't follow Sinatra in Vegas and say 'By the way, I'm not very good, and this is going to be useless.'"

King, deadpanning: "Why can't you just say: 'Piers Morgan. I'm coming. Watch me.' What's wrong with that?"

After briefly squaring up for a pretend across-the-table punch -- King said he had heard that Morgan had suggested he would punch him for the BBC jibe -- the British host agreed to change the subject.

But they came back to it at the end of the interview, when Morgan presented King with a pair of suspenders -- the CNN veteran's onscreen trademark -- with a Union Jack flag pattern.

The pair then got into another pretend verbal tussle over the fact that "suspenders" in British English are an item of women's underwear, the British word being "braces."

"So I've been wearing ladies' underwear all these years?" asked King.

"That's what the Brits think," replied Morgan.

"You're dangerous," joked King.

3580  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / radical community organizer meets with companies that control flow on internet on: February 24, 2011, 02:57:59 PM
Supposedly the meeting is for job creation.  That said, Obama meeting with Google owners, CEOs etc should raise eyebrows and questions.  This is all the more reason net neutrality may very well be a good idea.  Do we really want the most radical guy in the WH we have ever had meeting with those who can control the flow of information, and commerce and all communication on the internet without some sort of controls or regulation?  Very thought provoking.

*****Hosted by      Back to Google NewsObama meets with heads of Facebook, Apple, Google to discuss job creation
By Darlene Superville (CP) – 6 days ago

WOODSIDE, Calif. — President Barack Obama assembled some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley to confer on jobs and innovation, trying to get leaders from companies like Google and Apple behind his push to keep spending on high-tech initiatives even as Republicans are out to slash the budget.

Wunderkind Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, and Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and CEO who announced last month that he was taking his third medical leave, were among a dozen business leaders who met with Obama in California Thursday evening. Also attending were the heads of Twitter, Yahoo!, NetFlix and Oracle, and the president of Stanford University.

The dinner at the home of John and Ann Doerr in the San Francisco Bay area was closed to the media. Doerr, a partner at the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, attended the meeting.

Obama wants to spend billions on clean energy, education, high-speed Internet and other programs even as his new budget proposal calls for a five-year freeze on domestic spending in certain other areas. The approach is getting a frosty reception from newly empowered Republicans on Capitol Hill, who are pushing steep cuts to a wide range of programs and balking at new spending.

The president argues that targeted spending, including education initiatives aimed at producing a more sophisticated workforce, is crucial for job creation and future U.S. competitiveness with other nations. A stamp of approval from the Silicon Valley's leading innovators and job creators could help.

At the same time, the president's meeting Thursday extends outreach to the business community that he's embarked upon since Democrats suffered steep losses in the November midterm elections. With unemployment stuck at 9 per cent, Obama has been pleading with corporate America to hire.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday that the high-tech sector has been "a model, really, for that kind of economic activity that we want to see in other cutting-edge industries in the U.S. where jobs can be created in America and kept in America, and that's what he wants to talk about."

After his stop in California, Obama was planning to tour Intel Corp.'s semiconductor manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Ore., on Friday with CEO Paul Otellini. Otellini, who was among a group of CEOs who met privately with Obama in December, has criticized Obama's policies as creating uncertainty for business.

Obama has left Washington weekly since his Jan. 25 State of the Union to highlight his plans to boost education, innovation and infrastructure. Education is this week's theme.

Obama last visited California and Oregon, both states he won easily in 2008, during a four-state swing in October.


AP White House Correspondent Ben Feller and Associated Press writers Julie Pace and Erica Werner contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2011 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
3581  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: February 24, 2011, 02:16:11 PM
teachers bargained in good faith; they have a contract and the
State signed and agreed."

Well, a little more accurately, the Democratic party machine signed and agreed.
Taxpayers had no clue.
3582  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: February 23, 2011, 12:51:37 PM
Isn't Brian Wesbury a bull 100% of the time.  I don't recall him every saying anything negative.

Then again I don't follow him much anymore.
3583  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: February 23, 2011, 10:36:27 AM
Wow, Fareed Zakaria let this through (editor of Time)!

It is really an outrage how the Dems are out in force demogagueing this.  We should be grateful to them for weekends, the 8 hour day. rolleyes
Collective bargaining is a *right* akin to voters rights, the right to liberty, the right to property etc etc. rolleyes

This turns back 50, 60, 80 years of "progress". rolleyes

The average Joe has the right to tell their prosepctive employer what their salary should be and not told what their pay should be. rolleyes

All people who own property or pay state income/sales or other taxes should be the ones outraged.   angry
3584  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Net neutrality. Good,Bad,Ugly on: February 22, 2011, 12:01:16 PM
After reading this article and now understand the reasoning for "net neutrality".

From Scientific American:

Keep the Internet Fair
The government's net neutrality compromise fell flat. Here's a simple fix

By The Editors  | March 3, 2011 | 6
The island of Key Biscayne, Fla., sits in the Atlantic Ocean 10 miles southeast of Miami. Its 10,000 residents depend on the Rickenbacker Causeway, a four-mile-long toll bridge connecting the island to the mainland, for all their supplies. Right now all vehicles passing through must pay a set toll—$1.50 for cars, $9.00 for three-axle cargo trucks, and so on. But what would happen if a bridge owner decided to charge a toll based not on the size of a vehicle but on the cargo it was carrying? He could let his brother’s lumber-supply company through for free and make its chief competitor pay through the nose. He could force the Winn-Dixie grocery store to double its prices, pushing area residents to local restaurants. In short, the bridge owner would have the power to control everything that the residents of Key Biscayne have access to.

This is the essence of the widely discussed but little understood concept of “net neutrality.” The bridge, in this case, represents the lines that carry the Internet to your home computer or smart phone. So far Internet service providers have for the most part treated all content equally. The worry is that, sensing a business opportunity, they might strike deals with certain content providers to deliver faster access for a fee or to block some information entirely. The worry isn’t completely theoretical; Comcast recently told the company that delivers Netflix streaming videos that it needed to pay up if it wanted to access Comcast’s customers. (Lost on no one was the fact that Netflix directly competes with Comcast’s own video-on-demand service.)

To make matters worse, most Americans have only one choice of high-speed broadband provider; the most fortunate have two. Unhappy subscribers cannot just leave and get their Internet elsewhere. This effective monopoly leaves consumers with little protection from a provider that has the means to filter everything that they can buy, watch and read.

Internet service providers contend that they must retain the flexibility to manage their networks in the way they see fit—slowing or blocking some high-bandwidth applications to ensure reliable service for all. Network management is a serious concern, but it must not become a cover for policies that censor any content displeasing to the corporate gatekeeper. The Federal Communications Commission approved a rule last December that was intended to ensure equal treatment of content providers. Yet while the FCC rule prohibits “unreasonable” discrimination of network traffic, it fails to spell out what unreasonable behavior entails. The ruling is vague in ways that only a Washington, D.C., lawyer could love; the only certainty it gives is of the tens of thousands of billable hours to be spent arguing over the meaning of “unreasonable” in federal court.

The fix, however, is simple. As the FCC goes about enforcing this ban on so-called unreasonable policies, it should clarify that the only kind of unreasonable discrimination is discrimination against particular applications.

What would this mean in practice? Instead of the “all you can eat” data plans of today, Internet service providers could sell customers access by the gigabyte. They could limit performance at peak times of the day to help balance network load or offer superfast plans at higher prices.

Internet service providers would not, however, be able to determine which applications go fast and which go slow. They would not be able to reach a deal with Facebook to speed up that site’s page loads while slowing down LinkedIn. They could not put Skype calls through a bottleneck or throttle back all video-streaming sites, because these are all judgments based on application. This clarification gives Internet service providers the leeway they need to maintain healthy networks, as well as plenty of incentive to invest in advanced network infrastructure for those customers willing to pay for ultrahigh-speed service. But it takes away the power of Internet service providers to choose winners and losers. We can accept that a bridge owner can charge vehicles based on their size—$1.50 for cars, $9.00 for three-axle cargo trucks—but a democratic society can’t abide discrimination based on content.

3585  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 22, 2011, 10:09:18 AM
I thought you are a TR man, you know, speak softly and carry a big stick.
Unlike Obama who is speaks softly and carries a little stick.

TR strentghened us overseas not weakened us.  I doubt very much he apologized for us either.

As for TR, well;
TR was the guy who on San Juan Hill after shooting a guy in the belly while running up the hill cackled with glee and excitement at the experience OF SHOOTING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING!.  War is/was war no doubt.  However, his own record of how great he thought shooting someone else was, is something I never could forget about him.  Could anyone imagine the same of say Grant, or Eisenhower?

Ans , you know the same guy whose pleasure was to go around the world and kill animals for sport.
3586  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 22, 2011, 09:20:58 AM
Great post and thank you for your thoughts.

"Obama is perceived as not quite so ready to resort to military action, as was his predecessor and those around him (Cheney, et al)."

And to add to Crafty's comment,
Our enemies certainly love Obama for the this reason IMHO.

3587  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 21, 2011, 02:13:16 PM
Thanks for the inside scoop.

One question on this statement you made,

 "In fact, I have also heard many Greeks declaring that they dislike Americans (or more specifically American Foreign Policy)"

Here the main stream media would have us believe that Obama has done alot to improve our image overseas.
Do you think this is true from you vantage point?
3588  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / GWill: A Mitch Daniels fan on: February 21, 2011, 02:08:09 PM
Mitch Daniels' case for a less strident conservatism

By George Will 2/17/11 | At first, the banquet audience at the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference paid Mitch Daniels, Indiana's Republican governor, the conventional compliment of frequently, almost reflexively, interrupting his address with applause. But as they realized they were hearing something unconventional - that they were being paid the rare compliment of being addressed as reflective adults - they reciprocated his respect with quiet attention to his elegant presentation of conservatism for grown-ups.

America, he said, faces "a survival-level threat," a new "Red Menace" consisting of ink. No enterprise, public or private, "can remain self-governing, let alone successful, so deeply in hock to others as we are about to be." Some people accept or "even welcome" a "ballooning of the state" that consigns America to "a gray parity" with other profligate nations. Such people believe history is controlled by a "leftward ratchet," always - never mind "the Reagan Interruption" - moving toward a more powerful state.

For such people, the task now is merely defensive: The Obama administration's spending commitments - e.g., the health-care law is designed to "engulf private markets and produce a single-payer system or its equivalent" - will produce a leviathan state and reduce the American world preeminence some people deplore.

Focusing on earmarks (a "pernicious practice" but a "trifle") and "waste, fraud and abuse," says Daniels, trivializes the task of administering "bariatric surgery" to a "morbidly obese" government. He favors restoring to presidents the power to impound appropriated funds ("you'd be amazed how much government you'll never miss"). But the big twofold task is to reform entitlements and produce economic growth - "a long boom of almost unprecedented duration."

Americans must say "an affectionate thank-you" to the last century's major social welfare programs - then sunset them, after those Americans "currently or soon to be enrolled" in them have passed from the scene. Social Security and Medicare should be updated to conform to Americans' "increasing longevity and good health." Medicare 2.0 should respect Americans' dignity and competence by empowering them to make "their own decisions" by delivering its dollars directly to individuals and expecting them to "pay for more of their routine care like the discerning, autonomous customers we know them to be."

To spur economic growth, we must "untie Gulliver": "The regulatory rainforest through which our enterprises must hack their way is blighting the future of millions of Americans." Barack Obama's recent executive order to prune the forest was, Daniels said, akin to the world's leading rap music producer suddenly expressing alarm about obscenity. And Daniels thinks conservatives' "first thought" should be about "those still on that first rung of life's ladder":

"Upward mobility from the bottom is the crux of the American promise, and the stagnation of the middle class is in fact becoming a problem, on any fair reading of the facts. Our main task is not to see that people of great wealth add to it but that those without much money have a greater chance to earn some."

Author of the most succinct characterization of the Obama agenda ("shock-and-awe statism"), Daniels has practiced the lean government he preaches. Under him, Indiana has its fewest state employees since 1978, the nation's lowest state-government employment per capita, the lowest effective property taxes and the third-lowest per capita spending. So he has the credentials to counsel conservatives about the need to compromise in the interest of broadening the constituency for difficult reforms.

"Change of the dimension we need," says Daniels, "requires a coalition of a dimension no one has recently assembled," including people who "surf past C-SPAN to get to SportsCenter." Which may mean ideological dilution: "Purity in martyrdom is for suicide bombers" and "King Pyrrhus is remembered, but his nation disappeared." Daniels has "no interest in standing in the wreckage of our Republic saying, 'I told you so' or 'You should've done it my way.' "

He reminded his listeners that when he was serving Ronald Reagan, the president admonished him and others that "we have no enemies, only opponents." The case for less strident conservative rhetoric is practical: "As we ask Americans to join us on such a boldly different course, it would help if they liked us, just a bit."

Do not, Jefferson warned, undertake great departures on "slender majorities." Conservatives criticized Democrats for doing just that regarding health care. Big changes, Daniels knows, will require a broad majority, perhaps one assembled after 2012 by someone with his blend of accomplishments, aversion to pandering and low-key charisma of competence.

3589  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Yahoooo! on: February 21, 2011, 12:38:44 PM
Check out Vermont - the only red in the whole NorthEast.  Perhaps I should move to Wyoming abuild a fort.  Yes Frank Rich.  Americans are behing the unions in Wisconsin!  Dream on you demagogue.  The One's faint to the right is NOT working.  grin smiley cool cheesy
3590  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Yeehah!!! on: February 21, 2011, 09:57:57 AM
So Frank Rich is deluding himself into thinking this is because the ONE is to right.  He is not left enough.  So far so good.  Obama is not pulling a Bill Clinton.  Or at least he is not succeeding.  I think Bmasters collusion with the fabulously rich founders of Google, Facebook, GE, MSFT would make a nice picture of replacing Mousilini.  I think this does fall into the category of Facism.:

 « Monday, February 21, 2011
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 23% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -18 (see trends).

Yesterday and today mark the president’s lowest ratings since mid-December. It remains to be seen whether this is merely the result of statistical noise or a change in perceptions of President Obama. For most of 2010, more than 40% of voters voiced Strong Disapproval of the president. However, following his December agreement with Senate Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts, the level of Strong Disapproval had declined.

It’s President’s Day, and 93% have a favorable opinion about Abraham Lincoln. Ninety-one percent (91%) say the same about George Washington.

Most voters continue to favor repeal of the health care law.

The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve. It is updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update). Updates are also available on Twitter and Facebook.

Overall, 44% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president's performance. Fifty-five percent (55%) disapprove.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters now think a group of people selected at random from the phone book could do a better job than the current Congress. Only 41% disagree.
3591  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: February 21, 2011, 09:40:42 AM
I pray you are right.
3592  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: February 21, 2011, 09:39:55 AM
"Obama’s outspokenness about the labor battle in Wisconsin offers a glimmer of hope that he might lead the fight for what many Americans, not just Democrats, care about — from job creation to an energy plan to an attack on the deficit that brackets the high-end Bush-era tax cuts with serious Medicare/Medicaid reform and further strengthening of the health care law."

Frank Rich is nuts.  "many Americans" are for the labor battle in Wisconsin???  Oh really?  So he thinks most Americans are for bailing out government unions benefits, pensions and fully covered health care with their hard earned money?

On job creation Obama gets an F.

On energy plan, Obama is doing everything to weaken the US.  50Bill for a couple of train tracks?

Strengthening health care?  Nice try putting it that way - sound pretty damn phoney to me.

Serious MeidcareMedicaid reform.  First the Dems say that can't be touched and that is obviously why Obama and MSM jornolists are hoping the Repubs will make bold moves - so the ONE can demagogue them to death till his election.

Rich is a typical liberal.  Still dreaming that most Americans are for progressivism.  This country is still right of center - not way to the left.
3593  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 19, 2011, 02:04:36 PM
Israel's good friends in the UN Security Council all of whom except the US voted that the settlements were "illegal".  The US simply had Hill girl state that the settlements were "illegitimate" but not illegal; essentially a technicality.  If Israel were an oil powerhouse it would be different.  But for a couple of millions of Jews - who cares? cry

Permanent members
People's Republic of China which replaced the Republic of China in 1971
Russian Federation which replaced the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991
United Kingdom
United States
Non-permanent members
Bosnia and Herzegovina
South Africa
3594  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Taxpayer union on: February 19, 2011, 01:53:39 PM
Or perhaps,
taxpayers should form our own union!
3595  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Retirement a privilege not a right on: February 19, 2011, 01:34:47 PM
There was an article in one of the medical journals some years back that addressed the plight of the elderly in history.  Many elderly worked till they died.  Others, lived with family.  Others wound up at flop houses or begged.  Compare that to today's expectations.  (unfortunatley I cannot find the article now but it was extraordinarily illuminating from someone born in the 50s to see how hard it really was for many people who were lucky enough to live to old age.  After reading that I found it hard to feel sorry for the elderly of today.  No one wants to get old but.....

****Early Retirement, retirement

After last week's post, I started thinking about what our societal expectations are about retirement.  So I brushed the dust off of my pocket-sized copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.  After perusing them, I was reminded that these beloved documents spell out many God-given rights that government is obligated to protect while allowing humankind to pursue life, liberty and happiness.  (Note to the courts:  Constitutional law still exists).  But what is expectantly absent from the Bill of Rights is the right to an easy, stress-free life.

What does this have to do with retirement, one might ask?  There are no Constitutional rights to retirement, much less an easy retirement.  Retirement is made possible by the structure of entitlement programs, the effort of workers and savers, and the generosity (hopefully) of the next generation to care for their aging parents.  But the Constitution says nothing about retirement.  Specifically:

1)  There is no Constitutional right to early retirement.  The full retirement age when people receive their full Social Security benefits for most of today's workers is now 67.  While retiring at age 55 may be the plan for many, there are no guarantees.  So if your 401(k) account derailed your plans to retire early last year, this matter does not justify a goverment bailout.

2)  There is no Constitutional right to home equity for retirement income.  While the Constitution protects your property from unreasonable search and seizure, there is no right to property earning a 200 percent rate of return that will enable you to downsize and retire comfortably from the sale of your existing home.  The current mortgage mess has affirmed that this right does not exist.

3)  There is no Constitutional right to entitlement programs.  Sadly, the government has mislead people into thinking that Social Security alone can and will solve any retirement financial problems, and that there will always be money to fund entitlement programs.  But the $102 trillion future deficit held by Medicare and Social Security as it stands today means that the program will exist in its current form – only as far as the government is willing to borrow and people are willing to fork over payroll taxes.

4)  Finally, there is no Constitutional right to a "wealthy" standard of living at retirement.  I am reminded of the elite elderly couple Thurston and Lovey Howell from the 1960s TV show "Gilligan's Island."  While they were shipwrecked on an uninhabited island, we learn little about how these millionaires made their money, but it was obvious by their dress and demeanor that they had no financial worries in their later years.  Such is usually not the case for real-life retirees.  Some baby boomers may approach retirement with the resources to purchase a yacht or a month-long cruise, while many others may have to settle for a three-hour tour.

In other words, there are no guarantees in life, or in retirement outcomes, for that matter.   But careful thought and planning can minimize the risk of plans going awry.

Have a good weekend!***

3596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: February 19, 2011, 01:13:55 PM
""predominantly white"

Except for Jesse Jackson who took time off from his work for Obama.
3597  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 19, 2011, 11:15:23 AM

Yes, I am proud of my fellow Jews accomplishments!


"Jews are "progressive"?
I didn't know that was bad!"

Yes this IS bad and annoying and actually infuriating to me as well as to many other Jews who consider themselves (if not) strict conservatives at least Republican.

Such Jews like Jackie Mason, Aaron Klein, David Horowitz, Marc Levin,  Bernine Goldberg, Jonah Goldberg, Eric Cantor, etc.

Indeed it is very bad.  Bad for the United States and a big phoney fraud in my opinion.  Actully quite hypocritical.   Think Soros.  I despise what he is doing.

I respect him only as a holocaust survivor but not otherwise as a person.  He is full of BS and a selfish, hypocrite IMO.
3598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 18, 2011, 03:37:54 PM
Interesting two post above about Paul.

I didn't have any clue of that.  David Horowitz is a strong conservative.

"international banker conspiracy"

I don't think there is a Jewish conspiracy in that regard but there may be a disproportionate number of Jews who are bankers, like doctors, and lawyers.

There is without a doubt a disproportionate number of Jews who are progressive.

From the alleged jornolist posted on this board a fully 40% of the names were consistent with Jewish names.  Jews make up what? 1 or 2% of the US population.

My guess is Jews are not running around trying to get non Jews but happen to just be active in this area and since there is a disprotionate number of them in the forefront it may give the appearance of a "conspiracy".

As for a "conspiracy" for supporting Israel - I would prefer to look at it as Jews working hard to preserve and protect fellow Jews who are threatened with annhilation every day. 
3599  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Maddow:Wiscon is "existential threat" to Dem Party on: February 18, 2011, 10:40:11 AM
Last night Madcow was actually in obvious *panic* mode over what is happening here.  She was ranting raving (more than the following video) as fast and nervous as possible that what is going on in Wisconsin is an "existential" threat to the survival of the Democratic party!

I disagree with this premise to start with but the larger more important point to the overwhelming Americans who are NOT government employees is to have it laid bare for all of us to see how the unions have outright corrupted our political process.  Raise (occasionally steal- no choice) money from your members, siphon plenty off for their own personal benefit and than send payoffs to Democrats running for office, then if they get elected they always return the favor by making back-room deals with the unions.  Always at taxpayer expense.

Thank God we are having this fight.  It is about time.

Madcow says this is politics!  Yup it certianly is.  This is not about educating children, this is not about law enforcement, firefighting.  This is about corruption of one of the two large parties in the US while other voters taxpayers are oblivious to what is going on.  Well no more.  That said she is wrong or lying about that this is an existential threat to the Dem party.  Perhaps she is just panicking.  Perhaps she is just trying to get all Dems riled up and on board with backing the unions.  I am not sure which.
3600  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: February 17, 2011, 04:46:13 PM
As a taxpayer I feel like my rights are being infringed.

No one ever asked me to the government-union-employee  bargaining table to decide where my tax dollars go.

Their unions buy and pay for their Democratic candidates.  Then they turn around and make deals behind the rest of our backs.  Now the states are broke, they are annoyed?

I don't want to hurt these people but the money isn't there.  And no, I am not for raising taxes on the "rich", the middle class, businesses or anyone else.
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